Emperor Of Sand
4.5 / 5
So Mastadon returns with the highly anticipated Emperor Of Sand.
Mostly inspired by family members going through a cancer battle, Mastodon have infused the topic across the array of Emperor. This may be their best stuff since Crack The Sky, with the band once again employing the producer services of Brendan O'Brien. This may explain the rocky, poppy hook of "Show Yourself'-- the ascending octave chords really tie the song together nicely.
The stacked sound on the album's opening track, "Sultan's Curse", displays the band's attentiveness in the production of new tracks. They also infuse a heavy prog-rock presence on their seventh release, as best exampled by the tracks, "Steambreather," "Ancient Kingdom" and "Andromeda".
Another standout cut, "Precious Stones", puts Brent Hinds guitar leads at the top of his game. The lead breaks mix in with the prog-driven sound to create one stellar piece.
"Steambreather" has got a flow to it that mesmerizes the listener with so much evolving sound: The bridge is a climbing riff that tantalizes the fan with a huge liberal build-up and then rolls into the high-octane number "Roots Remain." This one buzzes along fast like a wild horse ride tearing across the sands of time.
The acoustic intro to "Jaguar God" sets up for a droning verse and a crescendos build as the song moves forward. It's the perfect closing track to Emperor Of Sand. The build is fantastic and ferocious to say the least.
This seventh studio album by Mastodon is a must have for any fan.